Math Wheels for Note-taking?

Probability Games and Activities for the Middle School Classroom

Use these probability games and activities in your middle school math class.

One of the trickiest math concepts I remember learning growing up was probability. Now, as a teacher, I find it just as tricky to teach. I have students who catch on to the concept really quickly and are ready to dive in. Then, there are others who remind me of my younger self, struggling to wrap their heads around this abstract idea. Even though some of our students wish we could say, “Oh well, we tried,” and move on, we can’t. I tell my kiddos, “Practice makes progress,” and that’s exactly what we do. We practice a lot and in a variety of engaging ways. So today, I want to share with you some of the probability games and activities I use in my classroom that help my students grasp the concept and even enjoy it!

The Benefits of Probability Games and Activities

Using probability games and activities in my classroom has made a world of difference in teaching this concept to my middle schoolers. I’ve found that when students are engaged in a game, they’re having fun, and learning happens almost effortlessly. These activities transform abstract ideas into hands-on experiences, making probability less intimidating and more approachable.

Games have tons of benefits like helping students put their learning into action and helping foster a sense of collaboration in your classroom.

For instance, when we play games, students can see the principles of probability in action. They start to understand terms like “outcome” and “likelihood” because they’re actively participating in the process. It’s no longer just numbers and formulas on a whiteboard. It’s real, and it’s happening right in front of them.

Another great benefit is that these games encourage collaboration and discussion among students. They work together, share their thoughts, and explain their reasoning, which reinforces their understanding. Plus, a little friendly competition never hurts, as we know with middle schoolers! It keeps them motivated and invested in their learning.

Most importantly, these activities build confidence. I’ve seen students who were initially hesitant about probability become excited and curious. They ask questions, make predictions, and test their hypotheses, all while gaining a deeper understanding of the concept. It’s incredibly rewarding to watch them go from struggling to mastering probability, all thanks to the power of games and hands-on activities.

Probability Games and Activities

Seeing the positive impact that probability games and activities have had on my students, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting resources to keep the momentum going. I’ve discovered and created some fantastic tools and games that have truly made a difference in my classroom. These resources help my students not only understand probability but also enjoy the learning process. These are the ones that have my students eagerly participating and even asking for more! Let’s go ahead and start exploring these tools together.

Probability Doodle Math Wheel

To build a strong foundation in 6th grade math, before we jump into probability games and activities, I love using my Probability Doodle Math Wheel. This resource is fantastic for introducing the concept of probability to my students in an engaging and approachable way.

Using a Math wheel sets the stage for  learning as you dive into new topics with students.

I start by using the guided notes wheel to explain the basics of probability. These notes are well-organized and straightforward, which helps all my students, even those who find math challenging, to understand the core ideas. This particular wheel is divided into six sections that review the definition of probability, the outcome and sample/space, how to measure probability, what it looks like as a fraction and a percent, and goes over the differences between experimental and theoretical. The clear explanations and examples make it easier for my students to follow along and grasp the key points of the concepts.

As we go through the guided notes, students get to doodle and color sections of the wheel. This interactive element makes the lesson more enjoyable but also helps to reinforce the material in a memorable way. It’s incredible how something as simple as doodling can make such a big difference in understanding and remembering!

After we’ve covered the notes, we move on to the practice exercises included in the resource. These exercises give my students a chance to apply what they’ve learned and test their understanding. By working through these problems, they gain confidence and get a better feel for how probability works in different scenarios.

Using this resource sets the stage perfectly for the probability games and activities we do next. My students feel more prepared and excited to dive into the hands-on learning experiences. This math wheel not only helps them understand the basics but also sparks their interest and curiosity about probability.

Compound Probability Math Wheel

To further expand my students’ understanding of probability, I bring in the Compound Probability Doodle Math Wheel. This one is divided into four sections, each covering a key aspect of compound probability: what a compound event is, organized lists, tree diagrams, and tables. This breakdown makes it easy for students to understand and visualize different approaches to solving probability problems.

This Doodle Math Wheel is divided into four sections, each covering a key aspect of compound probability. This resource gets students excited about learning probability.

What’s awesome about these math wheels is how flexible they can be to fit whatever needs we have. Sometimes, we spend a whole week completing a math wheel because I guide my students through one of the sections, and then we practice. Repeat for the next day. Other times, we cover the whole wheel in one day. These are decisions I make based on the level of student understanding. By the time we get to probability, I’ve had a bit of time with my students and I’ve gotten to know what works for them and what needs they have.

Starting with this resource sets a strong foundation and gets my students excited about learning probability. It’s the perfect introduction for this topic and really helps my students wrap their heads around the concepts!

Probability Color By Number Activity

Another resource I love using is the Probability Color by Number activity I made. This activity is perfect for 6th and 7th graders and adds a splash of creativity to math lessons. You heard correctly that even middle schoolers don’t mind slowing down to reveal a picture or design with their answers! They’re still kids!

After I’ve established a solid understanding of probability concepts with my students, I introduce this activity. It’s a simple, approachable way to reinforce what we’ve learned while adding a fun and artistic element to the mix. I made sure to include both print and digital options to make it easy to accommodate different learners.

The Probability Color by Number activity is another perfect resources that adds a splash of creativity to your math lessons.

If we’re going the paper route, I make sure to give each student a coloring sheet filled with probability problems. As they solve each problem, they use the color code provided to fill in sections of the picture. It eventually reveals a colorful image as they work through the questions. This not only makes practicing probability more engaging but also provides immediate feedback. They know they’re on the right track as the picture comes together.

What I love most about this activity is how it caters to different learning styles. Visual learners get to see their work transform into art, while hands-on learners enjoy the coloring aspect. It’s also a fantastic way to keep students motivated and focused, especially those who might not be as excited about traditional math exercises.

By the end of the activity, students have not only practiced their probability skills but also created something they’re proud of. This boosts their confidence and makes them more eager to participate in future probability games and activities.

Probability Games of Truth or Dare

The Probability Truth or Dare Math Game is a fan favorite amongst my students! This game is an exciting twist on the classic party game, making math practice both fun and engaging. It’s perfect for reinforcing concepts in a lively, interactive way.

The Truth or Dare math game is a student favorite and gives students the chance to interacts and work in small groups.

I divide the class into small groups and give each group a set of truth or dare cards. The “truth” cards have true or false probability questions that test their knowledge and understanding, while the “dare” cards challenge them to perform tasks that involve applying probability concepts. For example, a truth card might ask them about the likelihood of an event happening, while a dare card might have them figure out the probability of a compound event.

What makes this game so effective is the element of choice and surprise. Students love the suspense of picking a card, and the variety keeps them engaged. Plus, the game format encourages collaboration and discussion, as they often need to work together to solve problems or complete the dares. It also helps my students deepen their understanding through practical application and peer interaction. It’s always a hit in my classroom, and I’ve noticed that even my more reluctant learners get excited about participating.

Interested in having some digital probability games as well? Check out the digital version of the Probability Truth or Dare Math Game.

Probability Math Task Cards and Exit Tickets

When it comes to probability games and activities, you want to be intentional about them. These activities should show you what your students are understanding and where they may need more assistance. A resource that I use as a review and as a way to check out at the end of class periods is my Probability Footloose Math Task Cards Activity and Exit Tickets. The task cards inject energy and movement into our learning, while the exit tickets help me check in with my students.

The Footloose task cards are great for having students work in pairs or small groups. Students solve problems around the room together.

I try to have my middle schoolers out of their seat frequently and working together. For the Footloose Task Cards, I scatter the task cards around the room. Then, I have students work independently, in pairs, or in small groups to solve them while moving around the room. Each card presents a probability problem. The students solve the problem and record their answers on the recording page.

What I love most about this activity is how it combines physical movement with math practice. It breaks up the routine of sitting at their desks and adds an element of excitement to our lessons. Plus, the task cards cover a range of probability topics, allowing students to challenge themselves and each other.

As a bonus, the included exit tickets provide a quick and easy way to assess student understanding at the end of the activity. I’ll also pull a few of them to use for different class periods. This helps me gauge how well they’ve grasped the concepts and identify any areas that may need further review.

Additional Resources for Probability Games and Lessons

Before we finish up here, I want to invite you to check out two blog posts for more info. The first one is about a probability lesson I do with my students, and the second one is about a probability game. By combining these two resources, I create a dynamic learning environment where students not only understand probability but also develop a genuine enthusiasm for math.

In Probability Lesson for Middle School Math, students simulate a contest to collect rock star photos from gum packs. They’ll tackle the question: How many packs of gum should you buy to win? Groups conduct trials with dice or colored disks, recording results and discussing strategies. It’s a hit with my middle schoolers!

When reading Probability Game for Middle School Remove One, you’ll learn about my go-to probability game for middle schoolers! In this game, students create their game boards, strategically placing chips next to numbered spaces from 2 to 12. Using dice rolls, they aim to match the sum and remove chips, racing to be the first to clear their boards. It’s a game that keeps my students engaged and strategizing.

Make Math Class Fun with Probability Games

As we wrap up, I feel excited about the journey we’ve taken through the world of probability games and activities. Teaching this complex concept to my middle schoolers has always been a challenge, but with the help of these engaging resources, it’s become a true delight. From the structured guidance of the Compound Probability Guided Notes & Doodle Math Wheel to the interactive fun of the Probability Color by Number, Probability Truth or Dare Math Game, and Probability Footloose task cards, each activity has brought something special to our classroom.

From the structured guidance of the Compound Probability Guided Notes & Doodle Math Wheel to the interactive fun of the Probability Color by Number, Probability Truth or Dare Math Game, and Probability Footloose task cards, each activity has brought something special to our classroom.

Not only have these resources helped my students understand probability, but they’ve also sparked their curiosity and enthusiasm for math. They’ve transformed probability from a daunting concept into an exciting adventure. Whether they’re doodling on the math wheel, racing around the room with task cards, or solving truth or dare challenges, they’re fully engaged and eager to learn. And that, to me, is the true magic of teaching. Here’s to many more joyful math moments ahead!

Save for Later

Remember to save this post to your favorite math Pinterest board for when you are ready to plan out probability games and activities for your students!


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



Select to see on TPT

Select the image above to learn more!

Select to see on TPT
Select to see on TPT
Select to see on TPT
Select to see on TPT
truth or dare math games
Select to see on TPT
Select to access the free toolkit
Select to see on TPT
Select to see on TPT
Click the image to access the free wheel and wheel templates

Engage students in taking math notes with this FREE Fraction Operations wheel and 3 wheel templates!